What should the customer know about your pricing (e.g., discounts, fees)?
Each project is quite unique, so while the pricing model is consistent overall, there is not a way to relate how we price each project since it is based on the repair needed for particular buildings that by their very nature are constructed differently.
What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
Our typical process is to receive information as to the address of the project, the general nature of the work needed and how to set a time to take a look. We then send a qualified and trained project manager to look at the problem and propose a potential repair if needed. A written proposal is generated, and if accepted, work is scheduled promptly. The work is completed according to company and industry standards, and a final walkthrough is performed with the customer to make sure the work is above expectations.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
Our company is a professionally managed organization. The owner has more than 25 years of general business experience, including owning and managing several organizations, and has an International Executive MBA. The management of the company has decades of general business experience. Our ownership, management, and staff is well trained, including certifications for products we install and internal and external safety programs.
How did you get started doing this type of work?
The ownership of the company had real estate holdings that required a foundation repair, and in bidding out the repair, the owner realized there was a need for a well-priced, professional organization to install repairs, and the rest is history.
What types of customers have you worked with?
We typically work with individual homeowners, smaller real estate developers, and flippers. We also do limited commercial work both as a prime contractor and subcontractor to a prime contractor, and have engaged projects as large as $350,000 for government.
Describe a recent project you are fond of. How long did it take?
We had a recent customer whose house sat on a hill above a lake. The garage was starting to sink at a corner, and this was particularly of concern because the homeowner intended to add a workshop and addition starting at that corner as a walkout. We consulted with the homeowner and recommended helical piers, and installed those to tolerances recommended by the engineers. Our pricing was in the middle of the pack in this case, but of all the companies that bid the project, we were the only one to provide assurance of no added fees for added depth of the installation, since we had done tests prior to make sure our calculated depths were correct. The customer was very happy with the installation, and as a former construction project manager, we were especially pleased with his comments about our efficiency and approach.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
The most important aspect of hiring a provider is to ask lots of questions, get a written and thorough proposal, and review the insurance certificates of that provider. Ask for references of recent work, and develop a comfort level with whomever you work with, even it if is not our company.
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
Customers should ask for a firm budget. Never sign a "time and materials" proposal, or similar open ended agreement, unless it has a "not to exceed" provision. Make sure that the professional has certifications, is a member of trade organizations, is in the Better Business Bureau with a good history, and has a thorough website that describes their business. It's important that a reputable professional have a location, other than their residence, where they do business, as that indicates they are in the business for the long haul. Ask these questions, and you will learn a lot about who is doing the repair, and at the end of the day, finding a quality professional is the most important aspect of your search.